Open main menu

Wikipedia β

The Korean Peninsula is a peninsula in East Asia. It extends southwards for about 1,100 km (680 mi) from continental Asia into the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by the East Sea to the east, and the Yellow Sea (known in Korea as West Sea) to the west, the Korea Strait connecting the first two bodies of water.

Korean Peninsula

Hangul한반도; Hanja韓半島; RRHan Bando
(used in South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Japan),
Chosŏn'gŭl조선반도; Hancha朝鮮半島; MRChosŏn Pando
(used in North Korea, Japan, China and Vietnam)
Peninsulas of Asia
Satellite image of the Korean Peninsula
The Korean Peninsula (dark green)
Country South Korea South Korea
North Korea North Korea
Borders on China, Russia, Sea of Japan, East China Sea, Yellow Sea, Korea Strait
Highest point Paektu Mountain
 - location Mount Baekdu[1]
 - elevation 2,744 m (9,003 ft)
Lowest point Sea level
Length 1,100 km (684 mi), north to south
Area 220,748 km2 (85,231 sq mi)
 - land 217,818 km2 (84,100 sq mi)
 - water 2,930 km2 (1,131 sq mi)
Population 74,461,933 (2012[2])
Density 337/km2 (873/sq mi)
Topographic map of the Korean Peninsula



The peninsula's names in Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese all have the same origin, that being Joseon, the old name of Korea under the Joseon Dynasty and Gojoseon even longer before that. In North Korea's standard language, the peninsula is called Chosŏn Pando (Hangul조선반도; Hanja朝鮮半島; RRJoseon Bando), while in China, as well as in Singapore and Malaysia, where Chinese is a common language, it is called Cháoxiǎn Bàndǎo (朝鲜半岛/朝鮮半島). In Hong Kong and Macau (the two special administrative regions of China), they follow the South Korean naming (Chinese: 韓半島; Cantonese Yale: Hòhn bundóu). In Japan, it is either Chōsenhantō (Kanji: 朝鮮半島 / Hiragana: ちょうせんはんとう) or Kanhantō (South Korean-specific only) (Kanji: 韓半島 / Hiragana: かんはんとう). In Vietnam, it is called Bán đảo Triều Tiên. Meanwhile, in South Korea, it is called Hanbando (Hangul한반도; Hanja韓半島), referring to the Samhan (since the Joseon Dynasty, Samhan was also used as an idiomatic meaning of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.) They both use "Korea" as part of their official English names, which is a name that comes from the Goryeo (or Koryŏ, in North Korea) dynasty (고려/高麗).


Until the end of World War II, Korea was a single political entity whose territory roughly coincided with the Korean Peninsula. In August 1945, the Soviet Union declared war on Imperial Japan, as a result of an agreement with the United States, and liberated Korea north of the 38th parallel. U.S. forces subsequently moved into the south. By 1948, as a product of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, Korea was divided into two regions, with separate governments. Both claimed to be the legitimate government of all of Korea, and neither accepted the border as permanent. The conflict escalated into open warfare when North Korean forces—supported by the Soviet Union and China—moved into the south on 25 June 1950. Since the Armistice Agreement ended the Korean War in 1953, the northern section of the peninsula has been governed by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, while the southern portion has been governed by the Republic of Korea.[3]

The northern boundaries for the Korean Peninsula are commonly (and tacitly) taken to coincide with today's political borders between North Korea and its northern neighbors, China (1,416 km (880 mi) along the provinces of Jilin and Liaoning) and Russia (19 km (12 mi)). These borders are formed naturally by the rivers Amnok and Duman. Taking this definition, the Korean Peninsula (including its islands) has an area of 220,847 km2 (85,270 sq mi).

Comparison of the two countries on the Korean PeninsulaEdit

Indicator North Korea South Korea
Capital Pyongyang Seoul
Official languages Korean
Official scripts Chosŏn'gŭl Hangul
Government Juche single-party state Representative democracy
Formal declaration 9 September 1948 15 August 1948
Area 120,540 km2 100,210 km2
Population (2014/2013 est.) 24,851,627 50,219,669
GDP total (2011/2014 est.) $40 billion $1.755 trillion
GDP/capita (2011/2014 est.) $1,800 $34,777
Currency Korean People's won (sign: ₩, ISO: KPW) Korean Republic won (₩, KRW)
Calling code +850 +82
Internet TLD .kp .kr
Drives on the right
Active military personnel 1,106,000 639,000
Military expenditure (2010/2012) $10 billion $30 billion

Flora and faunaEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Facts About the Korean Peninsula (Geography)". 
  2. ^ "Asie • Fiche continent •". 
  3. ^ Devine, Robert A.; Breen, T.H.; Frederickson, George M.; Williams, R. Hal; Gross, Adriela J.; Brands, H.W. (2007). America Past and Present. II: Since 1865 (8th ed.). Pearson Longman. pp. 819–21. ISBN 0-321-44661-5. 

Further readingEdit

  • KOIS (Korea Overseas Information Service) (2003). Handbook of Korea (11th ed.). Seoul: Hollym. ISBN 1-56591-212-8. 

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 37°30′N 127°00′E / 37.500°N 127.000°E / 37.500; 127.000